VANCOUVER, Jan. 17, 2017Â – UrtheCast Corp. (TSX:UR) (“UrtheCast” or the “Company”), the geospatial and geo-analytics company developing two Earth Observation (EO) satellite constellations, known as OptiSARTM and UrtheDailyTM, today announces that it has entered into a binding agreement with a confidential government customerÂ for the sale and shared operation of the first two satellites in the OptiSARTM Constellation,Â the world’s first commercial EO constellation with integrated optical and Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) sensors, for US$180 million. The customer has also agreed to pay an additional US$30 million for other products and services related to the sale of the satellites, contingent on the parties reaching mutual agreement on the final scope of these deliverables.
“This milestone in the OptiSARTM program is the result of years of technology development and many months of contract negotiations,” explained UrtheCast’s President and Chief Executive Officer, Wade Larson. “Not only is this a strong endorsement of the OptiSARTM Constellation and evidence of the commercial demand for this technology, but we believe this contract will accelerate the negotiation of similar agreements with other customers for the purchase of the remaining satellites.”
In June 2015, UrtheCast first announced its plans to build, launch and operate the OptiSARâ„¢ Constellation, which is expected to comprise 16 satellites in total (eight optical and eight SAR) flying in two orbital planes, with each plane consisting of four satellite pairs.Â Each pair will fly in tandem and consist of a high-resolution optical satellite offering video and pushbroom imaging and a dual-band, high-resolution SAR satellite comprised of X and L radar bands. By employing two orbital planes, the OptiSARâ„¢ Constellation can provide for maximum revisit rates in the mid-latitudes, while providing global coverage extending to the poles. Subject to UrtheCast financing the build and launch of the remaining six satellites in the first orbital plane, the first eight satellites are scheduled for launch in late 2021, with operations expected to begin in 2022.
This agreement represents UrtheCast’s first successful conversion of the three previously announced memoranda of understanding (MOUs) for the purchase of OptiSARTM satellites into binding contracts. The agreement is subject to a number of conditions, including UrtheCast obtaining the necessary customer commitments to allow for the build, launch and financing of the first eight satellites in the Constellation, the Customer obtaining within the next 12 months the funding for its payment obligations, the parties reaching mutual agreement on the detailed procedures for the shared operation and tasking of the two satellites, and other customary covenants and regulatory approvals for agreements of this nature. Provided these conditions are met, the purchase price will be paid upon achievement of certain build-phase milestones, starting when UrtheCast begins building the first eight satellites.
UrtheCast is in advanced discussions with the remaining MOU counterparties and other potential customers for the remaining satellites in the OptiSARTM Constellation. UrtheCast expects that each contract will have unique pricing depending on the imaging and commercial rights, ground segment features, and the operating, maintenance and training services to be provided to each customer.
ABOUT URTHECAST CORP.
UrtheCast Corp. is a Vancouver-based technology company that serves the rapidly evolving geospatial and geoanalytics markets with a wide range of information-rich products and services. The Company currently operates four Earth Observation sensors in space, including two cameras aboard the International Space Station and two satellites, Deimos-1 and Deimos-2. Imagery and video data captured by these sensors is downlinked to ground stations across the planet and displayed on the UrthePlatform, or distributed directly to partners and customers. UrtheCast is also developing and anticipates launching the world’s first fully-integrated constellation of multispectral optical and SAR satellites, called OptiSARâ„¢, in addition to its proposed UrtheDailyâ„¢ constellation, which the Company believes will together revolutionize monitoring of our planet with high-quality, medium and high-resolution, and high-coverage and high-revisit imagery in all weather conditions, any time of day. Common shares of UrtheCast trade on the Toronto Stock Exchange as ticker ‘UR’.
For more information, visit UrtheCast’s website atÂ www.urthecast.com.
Forward Looking Information
This release contains certain information which, as presented, constitutes “forward-looking information” or “forward-oriented financial information” within the meaning of applicable Canadian securities laws. Forward-looking information involves statements that relate to future events and often addresses expected future business and financial performance, containing words such as “anticipate”, “believe”, “plan”, and “expect”, statements that an action or event “may”, “might”, “could” or “will” be taken or occur, or other similar expressions and includes, but is not limited to; the proposed build, launch and operation of the OptiSAR and UrtheDaily Constellation; the satisfaction of the financing and other conditions set out in the binding agreement for the purchase of two OptiSAR satellites in order to trigger payment obligations thereunder; UrtheCast and the confidential customer referred to above reaching mutual agreement on the detailed procedures for the shared operation and tasking of the two satellites and the final scope of products and services that will be provided for an additional US$30 million; UrtheCast’s plans for and timing of expansion of its product offering and value-added services; and its future growth and operations plans. Such statements reflect UrtheCast’s current views with respect to future events and are necessarily based upon a number of estimates and assumptions that, while considered reasonable by UrtheCast, are inherently subject to significant uncertainties and contingencies. Many factors could cause UrtheCast’s actual results, performance or achievements to be materially different from any future results, performance, or achievements that may be expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements, including, among others: any delays or failures in the design, development, construction, launch and operational commissioning of the proposed UrtheDaily or OptiSARâ„¢ constellations; the Company being unable to adequately finance the development, building, launch and commission of the UrtheDaily Constellation or to convert the remaining MOU in respect of the OptiSARâ„¢Â constellation into binding, definitive agreements; the inability of the confidential customer described in this press release to obtain financing for its payments or to otherwise comply with its obligations under the binding agreement for the purchase and operation of two satellites; the inability of the parties to the binding agreement referred to in this press release to agree upon detailed procedures for the shared operation and tasking of the two satellites or on the final scope of products and services that will be provided for an additional US$30 million; interruptions to or failures of UrtheCast’s infrastructure; legal and regulatory changes or the prevention of the export of certain technologies related to the OptiSAR Constellation by government regulators with jurisdiction over UrtheCast, as well as those factors and assumptions discussed in UrtheCast’s annual information form dated March 29, 2016, (the “AIF”), which is available under UrtheCast’s SEDAR profile atÂ www.sedar.com. Forward-looking information is developed based on assumptions about such risks, uncertainties and other factors set out herein, in the AIF, and as disclosed from time to time on UrtheCast’s SEDAR profile. UrtheCast undertakes no obligation to update forward-looking statements except as required by Canadian securities laws. Readers are cautioned against attributing undue certainty to forward-looking statements.